The Royal Prank Call…Where to from here?

I am looking at the story about DJs at the centre of the royal prank call trying to figure the whole thing out.

It seems that like many radio announcers in the past they made a call, which got to a place it shouldn’t have, they took the piss, it was cleared by not only management, but the company lawyers, and the call went to air.

The process wouldn’t have gotten a second look other than two factors…it was about the future Queen and her unborn child, and someone involved with the call has now killed themselves.

I am terribly upset for the family of Jacintha Saldanha, her friends and colleagues, it is a situation that must be unbearable. I also feel, albeit not on the same level, sorry for the announcers who basically did their jobs, were cleared by management, and now have death threats and the world wanting their blood.

It seems to be a ‘there but for the grace of God‘ situation that many of us, who have done this kind of thing, could have been put in.

Here is an example of a crank call I made in 2005/06 when I got the Grosvenor of the Reserve Bank out of an important meeting to ask him how the changing of the size of the silver coins was going to impact my ‘takeaway and spacies‘ business over summer.

I got to a place I shouldn’t have, if the person who answered the phone and put me through was the subject of some kind of disciplinary action I would have probably made news…but that didn’t happen.

I am interested in seeing if there is any kind of history of suicide attempts or depression in Ms. Saldanha’s life as this situation on it’s own, where she didn’t give out any information and she wasn’t going to be disciplined in any way, leads me to think that perhaps this story is yet to be told in its entirety.

Eric Hartsburg to get tattoo of Romney/Ryan logo removed

You’ve probably seen this story, the man in Michigan who received $15,000 to get a Romney/Ryan logo tattooed on his face. He had said in numerous interviews that he would be keeping it for life but it appears he has gotten cold feet and wants the monstrosity removed.

Why you would ever do this is beyond me, but this morning I had the chance to catch up with Eric to get his reasons, his story and his political insights

Sensitive Comedians…now there’s an irony

Ok so let’s start this off by saying I am not that proud of this episode, and I was being a bit of a dick to the comedian Bill Dawes who is currently in the country for the Comedy Festival, but I have had an interaction so incredibly weird that I just wanted to share it with you all.

So I saw Bill Dawes last night hosting the RAW Comedy Quest, where amateur comedians have a crack at this imposing genre of comedy. The group of new comedians were really enjoyable, some a little gun shy, some a little possum-in-the-headlights…but overall good and I have nothing but admiration for their efforts. Bill Dawes, the professional amongst the group, was okay too…not amazing, but okay, and I spent the first few minutes trying to figure out who he reminded me of…then it dawned on me…Daniel Tosh. I swear that the intination, style of joke, way he interacted with the audience was very ‘Tosh-esque

Anyways, so this is the moment when I acknowledge I was a little dick-ish but I got home and tweeted these out.

Followed by this one

To which I received this series of tweets back from the man himself

I’ve been in the ‘media game‘ for 15 years give or take, and this kind of bravado has never really bothered me, in fact I can genuinely say that now one has ever offended me with personal attacks, I’ve had it all right up to and including death threats, however I am surprised some jibing of such a minor style bothered Bill Dawes.

Anyways I followed his ‘challenge’ with this one.

And then thought I’d better let the poor lad get back to his bottle of whatever he had crawled into ;o)

And then sadly found that the Comedian who is touted as one of the rawest, rudest, filthiest around had then blocked me from his twitter account. Maybe I touched a nerve.

Luckily in Echophone you can still connect with people when they block you and I found after he blocked me he sent out this tweet

I was confused as to whom he was talking about…but apparently it was me! I was the troll!

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”

Weird…I am the troll ;o)

Still wasn’t really sure why the comedian couldn’t take a jibe or two but after a quick Google I think I know now why..

From 2008 to Bill Dawes “Daniel Tosh called, he wants his punchlines back.”

From 2011 to Bill Dawes “Bill Dawes is too old for this at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, CA. On another note, this guy’s style kind of reminds me of Daniel Tosh.”

And they go on.

I actually really, really like Daniel Tosh and his comedy…so right back at the start my jibe could have been taken as more of a compliment…but I concur in a dick-ish way.

So officially I guess I’d like to say sorry for touching your ‘Tosh-nerve‘ Bill, I always understood many comedians to be insecure behind all their bravado and I guess this has confirmed that for me…well in your case at least and I will now do my penance for teasing you so badly. I’ll just head off to my office and write 100 times “I must not tease the comedians”

Sacha Baron Cohen offending Kazakhstan all these years later…without even trying

When the Borat movie came out the people of Kazakhstan were outraged, the government started doing press around the world to show Kazakhstan was nothing like the parody that Cohen put forward as a comedic character. All this proved is that Cohen is brilliant and played the world perfectly for millions of dollars of free advertising. But even Sacha Baron Cohen could not have predicted the latest upheaval to come out of his 2006 mockumentary.

At a shooting event in Kuwait, upon make winning the gold medal for her glorious country, Kazakh shooter Maria Dmitrienko had to stand on the podium and listen to Borat’s version of the anthem.

The spoof anthem praises Kazakhstan for its superior potassium exports and for having the cleanest prostitutes in the region.

I am sorry for the most make glorious Maria’s moment for beloved nation, but it is pretty funny and to her credit she seemed to take the error pretty well, she smiled and walked off at the end of the ceremony…which upon the complaint of the team was later rerun.

The BBC reports

The team’s coach told Kazakh media the organisers of the Kuwait tournament had downloaded the parody from the internet by mistake and had also got the Serbian national anthem wrong

However it’s not just ‘foreign dogs’ that are the enemy of the most glorious Kazakh National Anthem…sometimes they are their own worst enemy. From the Mirror speaking of the latest mistake.

It comes just weeks after embarrassed Kazakhstan officials made an anthem gaffe of their own.

As the announcer at a ski race declared: “Eyes on the flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the anthem of the Republic of Kazakhstan is beginning,” proud dignitaries put their hands on their hearts.

However, instead of the earnest anthem to ‘make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan’, Ricky Martin’s rather more breezy 1999 No1 Livin’ la Vida Loca blared out of the speakers.

Giggling officials in Kostanay were left standing for a few awkward moments, possibly expecting Borat to leap out at them in his mankini, before the worker in charge of the loudspeaker hurriedly switched to Menin Kazakhstan.

Maybe that’s why Sacha Baron Cohen had such an easy time convincing the world he was from this Ricky Martin loving country.

NZ Government ‘kowtowed’ to the US over Dotcom

Yesterday Barrister Gary Gotlieb stated in court that NZ ‘kowtowed’ to American business interests in the case against Kim Dotcom.

This statement comes amongst revelations that the seizure of Dotcoms property was illegal because “police applied for the wrong kind of order” according to Justice Potter

Kim Dotcome has been granted $60,000 per month to live off, access to his 2011 Mercedes and the crown needs to pay him $5,000 for legal costs to sort out the incorrect seizure of his goods.

In court yesterday Barrister Gary Gotlieb stated.

”Someone else in the world will be doing it, and simply to bend towards business interests in America, which is really what it’s about, kowtowing to business interests in America, I would have thought would not sit comfortably with many New Zealanders.”

And for me I agree with much of this statement,

When I interviews a retired FBI agent of 32 years who looked at the case for me, he stated quite plainly that the case came from the Motion Picture Association of America amongst other, they complained and the FBI sprang into action.

Crown lawyer Anne Toohey said that American was not controlling this extradition situation, it is handled under crown law

”Every day we get requests for forms of assistance from all countries all over the world, including restraint of assets, execution of search warrants and that manner of thing. For us it is really daily business.”

This still has the feeling of American sneezing and the NZ catching a cold to me, I hope it’s proven otherwise but I will continue to follow this case with great interest.

DTW: Flight of the Concords tickets early with VISA

So I’m sure you’ve heard that FOTC’s are coming back to NZ to perform for the first time in 3 years, but what is a little more unknown is that you can get tickets early via a VISA pre-sale website.

You need to obvioulsy a VISA card holder, but if you are go go here in about 5 minutes and you may be able to pick up tickets today…while everyone else is waiting until Friday

May the force be with you…

And while your deciding here for your entertainment is my favourite FOTC live song.


Mega blunder…or justice for Kim Dotcom?

From day one of this controversy around Kim Dotcom I stated publicly that his assets shouldn’t be frozen and his site should not have been taken down.

You can hear my initial thoughts here in an interview I did with bFM

Now that wasn’t a statement of his innocence, I have no idea about if he is, or isn’t guilty, but an accused has the right to defend him or herself from accusations. What has happened here is that he is being treated guilty before he has he day in court.

It’s yet to be proven if his site, MegaUpload, has done anything wrong so why has it been taken down, it’s yet to be proven if he has participated in any illegal activity so why are his assets frozen?

Presently Kim Dotcom is innocent of all crimes he is accused of.

Well it seems through a procedural error, Dotcom may have had his chance to now live his life as if he was innocent until proven guilty.

An incorrect court order issued against the founder of Megaupload has been declared “null and void” by a New Zealand judge. The legal bungle could lead to the return of the internet tycoon’s multi-million dollar fortune.

New Zealand police reportedly made a procedural error and applied for the wrong kind of restraining order. As a consequence internet mogul Kim Dotcom, formally known as Kim Schmitz, was not afforded the opportunity to defend himself prior to the seizure of his assets eight weeks ago by the police.

The Judge presiding over the case, Justice Judith Potter said on Friday that the order carried no “legal effect” and the case would have to be re-evaluated, the NZ Herald reports.

Is this the end of end for Kim Dotcom. No. For him there is a long way to go to prove his innocence…which again is not how the justice system should be working. The burden of proof should always be on the prosecution…in this case it seems otherwise.

Sexy Britney Spears: Acceptable. Dead SVU victim: Acceptable. Skimpily dressed model stretching: Banned!

Before we start this post, please be advised that if you watch the video there is graphic language and sexual themes contained within, I could not find the censored version of the ad.

It’s interesting what gets banned in America, they have really tight laws around profanity and nudity…but not so much around violence.

Think about what you see on CSI, Criminal Minds, SVU etc…but also what get’s bleeped in interview based programmes, and you hardly ever see nudity in American TV.

Well the latest interesting development has just occurred in this seemingly imbalanced censorship with an advert for Zoo York staring model Kate Upton.

Amongst other channels, MTV has banned the advert…MTV…the channel that shows music videos that constantly include sexual themes…not undertones, straight out themes conveying many explicit ideas to their viewers. Just Britney Spears alone has had seven of her MTV friendly videos banned in other parts of the world due to content, so the idea that they would ban this advert is…well weird to say the least.

I am not condoning the advert by pointing out these anomalies, I guess what I am asking is where is the consistency?

What Criminal Minds murder scene is better than sexual innuendo by a cockroach? What Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ scene is better than a model in a skimpy outfit stretching.

It’s weird, but I guess to have all the above mentioned potentially inappropriate fodder before children would be worse, so I guess it is good there is a line somewhere.

I just wonder who the heck drew the line, and how they decided it was where it is?

The Daily Show with more insight into Palestine become a country in the UN

John Oliver from The Daily Show does a two part story on how when America decided to pull funding from UNESCO as they, along with 100 organisations have recognised Palestine as a country, there ended up being no winners.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The best 13 minute documentary this side of the black stump

Great watch…and only 13 minutes.


I wonder if they have Foxton Fizz?